In these days of global economic crisis it may be good to remind ourselves about some good news. The percentage of the world population living in extreme poverty has decreased significantly from 42% in 1990 to 25% in 2005. Where there has been more trade and less aid, more people have been lifted out of poverty. China is one prime case in point: 1990 about 60% lived in extreme poverty; in 2005 approximately 16%. India: 51% in 1990 to 42% in 2005.
Does aid help long-term? In the past fifty years, more than $1 trillion in development-related aid has been transferred from rich countries to Africa. Has this improved the lives of Africans? No! Many would in fact say that the recipients of this aid are not better off as a result of it, but worse—much worse. Aid tends to:
- undermine the integrity and dignity of the people
- create dependence, fuel corruption, undermine democracy and stifle development
- governments become accountable to Western donors
- damage entrepreneurship, and decrease innovation